Jesus as The Fulfillment and Authority
In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the longest and most famous sermon recorded in the Bible, the Lord shares some of the most amazing revelations, promises, and teachings (Matthew 5-7). Perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of Jesus that we see in these passages and that he calls us to have is humility. This is especially true as he calls his followers to follow him as the ultimate authority and fulfillment of the scriptures. This was a challenge and charge for the men and women in that time to rethink what they thought, what they wanted and what they expected and exchange their own agendas for those of Jesus Christ. As we start our discussion on this topic, consider the questions below:
• Who are the authorities in your life when it comes to different areas including but not limited to family, work, personal life, country? How do you know?
Read Matt 5:17-20.
Jesus said he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it, however he warns listeners that they must “surpass” the righteousness of the very people (authorities) that devoted their lives to knowing, following and defending the law and prophets (Old Testament teachings).
• How do you explain the seeming discrepancy between this teaching and what the people at that time would have thought was the “right” way to follow God?
Read Matt 15:1-9.
Later in Matthew, Jesus calls out the Pharisees for being A+ students following the laws but saying that they are still missing the point.
• What IS the point Jesus is trying to make in this passage? What characteristics is he valuing?
• How is this different (if at all) from other authorities you have recognized in your life?
When it comes to the Sermon on the Mount and following Jesus, perhaps our first question should be, is Jesus our authority and do we trust that his way is THE way?
• If the honest answer is yes, ask yourself what is one practical way you can grow in respecting and trusting this authority in your life.
• If the honest answer is no, ask yourself why and if there are any practical steps you can take to know and trust Jesus in this way more.